CAN you help the elusive goats of Ventnor Downs?

The National Trust is appealing for volunteers to help round up the goats, for their annual health check.

Just like the goats, volunteers will have to be hardy to cope with the hilly terrain of Ventnor Downs.

The round up, which this year takes place on Thursday, October 17, sees National Trust rangers and volunteers fighting their way through 10ft high gorse, bracken and bramble bushes.

Last autumn, around 90 people rounded up more than 20 goats for the important conservation task.

Despite valiant efforts by the team, including crawling on hands and knees through the bushes, around ten goats still managed to evade capture.

The goats who are rounded up are herded into pens to have their teeth checked, hooves clipped and any health problems treated.

Any new kids are tagged and recorded.

All the goats are then released back on to the downs.

The goats have preserved the special chalk grassland on Ventnor Downs since 1993, acting as a natural control of the regrowth and spread of scrub and trees.

To help at the round up, call 741020 or email

Registering is essential.

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